Good4Utah is celebrating Black History Month by telling the story of a small town in Florida that was instrumental in shaping racial equality dialog in the United States.
You’ve no doubt heard of the Underground Railroad that would bring slaves from the south to freedom in the northern territories.
But did you know the first underground railroad actually went south to a section of Florida that offered freedom?
“In 1687 the first group of people arrived in St. Augustine as what would have been called fugitives. They had escaped bondage from the English plantations in the Carolinas,” said James Bullok.
The journey was not easy or an immediate path to freedom. Once people reached Florida they had to make it to St. Augustine. Only if they made it to the town and presented themselves to the Governor would they be given sanctuary.
In 1693, the immediate threat for Spain was England and her growing Carolina colonies. When word got back to Spain that plantation slaves were seeking asylum in Spanish Florida, The King of Spain created the edict of 1693. This document appears to be the first civil rights legislation in the New World.
Good4Utah is proud to present two free screenings of America’s Untold Journey, a documentary in honor of Black History Month on Thursday February 18th.
The first will be held at the State Capitol at 3:00-4:30 PM with special guest Sen Jim Debakis.
The second will take place at the SLC Main Library (Downtown) at 7 PM. It will be hosted by Mayor Jackie Biskupski, followed by a panel discussion on diversity.